Vasquez and Fernandez in Bloody Draw in Philly! Ken Hissner at ringside (May 1, 2010) Doghouse Boxing
The more experienced Victor Vasquez, 11-4-1 (6), looked like a sure winner after the 1st round against fellow Philly super featherweight Paul Fernandez, 5-2-3 (3), Friday night at the Arena in South Philly. A clash of heads in the 2nd round changed everything. Vasquez received a nasty cut over the left eyelid. The doctor was called in by referee Gary Rosado. This was KEA Boxing’s main event 6 rounder.
There was blood everywhere starting in the 2nd round. Fernandez had been shaken in the 1st round and seemed surprised that Vasquez could punch that hard. Fernandez seemed to win the 2nd round though Vasquez finished strong. In the 3rd round a straight right from Fernandez re-opened the cut that master cutman Joey Eye seemed to temporarily close. A left hook rocked Fernandez before the bell sounded giving Vasquez the possible the edge.
The 4th round was a big round for Fernandez as his lead rights were landing well on the cut with frequency. In the 5th round both fighters were covered with blood and busy as Vasquez seemed to get the better of it. In the 6th Fernandez must have thought he had a big edge and Vasquez would be looking to close the show. Fernandez landed a straight right to knock the wad of vaseline off the cut but let Vasquez outwork him landing several combinations and not getting wild looking for a knockout.
Fernandez was raised into the air by his handler as the Vasquez people were cheering their man on. The ringside reporters were split right down the middle. Did Fernandez being the underdog surprise the judges with his showing and would all the blood from Vasquez influence them? Or would it be the gut’s that Vasquez showed in overcoming the nasty cut to fight the way he did the rest of the way?
Ring announcer Henry Hascup read the first score of Rich Hopkins 58-56 for Fernandez. This followed with Steve Weisfeld’s 58-56 for Vasquez. Dewey LaRosa’s 57-57 gave it a draw. Fernandez and his people were very upset with the decision while Vasquez seemed more disappointed he didn’t knock Fernandez out. This writer had it 58-56 Vasquez but couldn’t dispute a draw being the final decision.
“If it wasn’t for the head butt he was going down. I believe I pulled it out,” said Vasquez. I wasn’t able to get to Fernandez who left the arena quickly until I tracked him down outside. Among his fans he proclaimed “Victor Vasquez got whipped.” It’s a natural rematch for Andre Kut and his KEA Boxing promotions though it will take some healing for the cut Vasquez suffered.
Five knockouts and two decisions would complete the undercard. In the co-feature six rounder, Philly’s welterweight Ardrick Butler, 5-1 (2) stormed Norman “Shadow” Allen into the ropes and never stopped throwing leather as the overwhelmed Allen slumped partially through the ropes. Referee Shawn Clark had no other choice but to stop it at 0:44 of the fight!
Union City, NJ, welterweight Juan Rodriguez, Jr., 3-0 (2), had Felton, DE, Mike Denby, 2-5-3 (2), hurt with a left uppercut from the southpaw early. A follow-up overhand left scored a knockdown. Upon rising Denby was hit with a lead left hand and dropped again. Though Denby got to his feet, the referee, Clark, waved it off before a disappointed Denby at 2:51 of the 1st round.
270 pound Jamie Campbell, 3-1 (2), of nearby Ridley Park was shockingly dropped to his knees across the bottom rope by Darrick Allen, 2-6 (2), at 215 pounds, from Wilson, NC. Campbell, a police officer by day, weathered the storm. In the 2nd round Campbell came out for bear as he drove Allen into the ropes and landed over eight punches without return putting Allen halfway through the ropes before referee Rosado saved Allen from anymore punishment at 0:26 of the 2nd round.
Anthony Caputo Smith, 4-0 (3), of nearby Kennett Square, rocked Donnie Moore, 0-4 of Wilson, NC, with a left hook. Smith followed up driving Moore into a corner and unleashing a vicious body attack bringing Moore’s guard down for the finishing touches. Referee Rosado halted the fight at 1:10 of the 1st round in this light heavyweight match. There were quite a few of Smith’s fans wearing tee shirts with his name on them.
Vineland’s (NJ) Anthony “TJ” Yoder, Jr., 2-0 (1), seemed bewildered at the start by the awkward southpaw style of Andrew Barnes, 0-3, of Wilson, NC. In the 2nd round just prior to the bell Yoder landed over a dozen unanswered punches that had referee, Clark, keeping an eye on whether to jump in there or not at the bell. Barnes started out in the 3rd with a flurry of punches before stopping. Suddenly Yoder landed over a dozen punches of his own. He let Barnes back into the fight before the round was over. In the 4th round both fighters were fatigued and it was like watching a slow motion replay as Yoder seemed to pull out what there was left in him.
Judges LaRosa and Weisfeld agreed with this writer at 39-37 while Hopkins had it 40-36 all for Smith. The referee was Clark. Yoder brought his share of fans from Vineland.
Jordan’s Khalil Farah, 6-4 (1), now out of Philly, may have put on his best performance to date in confusing John “Jawbreaker” Colvin, 3-9 (3), of Pennsboro, WV, with his southpaw style. In the first round Farah was a step ahead and landed more than his share of punches until just before the bell when he got rocked. The second round was all Farah’s while the 3rd was close going to Colvin. In the 4th round Farah had Colvin’s nose bleeding from straight lefts. Judge Bernard Bruni and Hopkins had it 40-36 while LaRosa saw it 39-37 all for Farah in this super middleweight bout. Rosado served as the referee.
In the opening bout Philly heavyweights Bryant Jennings, 3-0 (2) and Zeferino Albino, 3-11-2 (1), were re-matched in a fight that had Jennings winning a decision. This time it was no contest as Jennings tore into Albino landing a left hook to the head scoring a knockdown. Upon rising, a lead right hand dropped Albino again. Up for the second time he was caught with a straight right to the head dropping for the third time giving Jennings an automatic 1st round stoppage at 2:59 of the 1st round as referee Clark waved it off. This Fred Jenkins protégé made his most impressive showing so far. Albino was a last minute substitute. Top Philly lightweight prospect Angel Ocasio, 2-0, was to fight but his opponent pulled out. Like Vasquez, he is a big ticket seller.
KEA Boxing put on their second show at the Arena this year with four more dates. The next show may be late June or early July. Nick Tiberi served as matchmaker and Kurt Wolfheimer publicist.
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